Flint EFM announces intentions to step down - WNEM TV 5

Flint EFM announces intentions to step down

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Flint EFM Ed Kurtz. Flint EFM Ed Kurtz.

The Emergency Financial Manager in Flint is stepping down.

Ed Kurtz has mentioned his impending retirement during weekly press conferences, but he formally submitted his resignation on Wednesday. That's just 30 days before he will leave his job as the city's EFM. There's no word yet on who will take his position.

Kurtz released the city's Fiscal Year 2014 budget last week, and it doesn't call for any cuts to police or fire staffing. 

But looking past 2014, the news from Kurtz and State Finance Director Jerry Ambrose last week was a bit grim.

"We're looking at a deficit of about $9 million in fiscal 2015; $6.8 million of that is coming from a loss of grant revenue," said Ambrose.

For instance, the federal safer grant, which funds firefighters positions, is set to expire in 2015. If it's not renewed, Ambrose says, "The staffing at our fire department decrease from 94 to about 75. We will probably be looking at closing two of the five stations."

On top of that, Flint will face at least a $3-million structural deficit in each of the next four years.

Ed Kurtz says the city must find a new source of revenue to handle that structural deficit.

Kurtz says, "If we raise the income tax in the city a half a percent, in the county a quarter of a percent, that would raise a little over $7 million a year."

In the near future, Flint is still facing a $19-million budget deficit.

Kurtz says they have a two-pronged plan to deal with that deficit in the next year. They plan to ask the department of treasury for a $12-million loan.

Officials plan to include debt reduction dollars in future budgets to make up that remaining $7 million.

Kurtz says bankruptcy would have been too expensive and time-consuming to fix Flint's future financial problems.

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